lost my first LPN job


  • Specializes in LTC, Alzheimer's, Home Care, Pediatrics.

Hi all, I need some advice, I am a new grad and passed my boards (sept 07) I had trouble finding a LPN position, everybody wanted a years experience. I finally got a LPN job in a nursing home but was asked to resign with good references, I was two weeks short of my 3 month review. I agreed to resign. the problem they say is that I was too slow in passing meds, and I just could not keep up with multi-tasking and all the paperwork. I got real confused over the way I was trained. Management wanted it done by the book and on the floor it was all about cutting corners. I felt unsafe to cut corners I felt like if I did this I would loose my license. My work load was heavy with 23 patients. Most had dementia and most had to have their meds crushed and several were somewhat violent and others refused meds, or trying to get out of wheelchairs or trying to leave the facility. I was switched to three different areas and everyone did things differently.

With that being said and awfully depressed that I failed at this job, how do I explain my resignation at an interview? Im applying for jobs and getting no responses mostly because I dont have a years experience. Since Im new to all this how do you handle your work load and do you cut corners. where else can I find employment with little experience? I thought there was a shortage of nurses?

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.
work load was heavy with 23 patients.
In the world of LTC, 23 patients is a relatively light workload. Other nurses have had up to 60 patients by themselves on day shift, or nearly 100 patients on night shift.

Multi-tasking, prioritization, and superb time management are critical to surviving in LTC. Without these skills, you will most likely sink at another LTCF. Perhaps home health nursing or continuous care hospice would be a great fit for you, since you'll only deal with 1 patient at a time.

I'm so very sorry you lost your first position as an LPN. (((hug))) :icon_hug:


129 Posts

I would sign up with an agency and get a feel for what's available in your area. Home health care is a great idea. LTC can be rough on new nurses. It's sink or swim. Sorry this happened to you. As far as what to say during an interview(if they ask). Tell them you didn't feel like you "clicked" with the facility you were working at. You gave it 9 months, but it just wasn't working. Tell them that's why you signed with agency, to check out other areas that you were more compatable with.

kythe, LPN

261 Posts

Specializes in LPN. Has 16 years experience.

I also lost my first job as an LPN. I worked in a nursing home for about 4 months and was asked to leave. I have a good reference from my supervisor and I know I got good experience there, but I was very frustrated since you hear so much about staying a year at your first job.

My supervisor advised telling future employers that the job was not a good fit, and she gave me some valuable feedback on my strengths and weaknesses. She also said that although nursing homes are known for hiring new grads, she believes they are a difficult working environment and not necessarily the best place for your first nursing experience. I was relieved to hear that even though I didn't do well with my first job, it didn't mean I would be a bad nurse.

Sometimes when one door closes, it opens the opportunity to something else you will really love. I now work through an agency and I have become a "regular" at a couple of group homes for the disabled. I love the personal environment since you have few enough patients to really provide quality care, not just rushing through everything. Even though there are far fewer residents than in a nursing home, they tend to be higher needs. It's not as fast paced, but I have used many skills I would never have needed in a nursing home. It's just different.

Even though its not fun being run out of a job, for me it led to a much better job. Now I enjoy what I do, feel more valued, and I have had different learning opportunities in a more comfortable setting.

Has 19 years experience.

Nursing home work loads are very heavy, and any nurse who does things "by the book" will not get her work done, period.

Cutting corners and taking short cuts is the only way to survive. Some admins are very aware of this, but pretend they don't know what's going on. Other admins have no clue.


447 Posts

You did the right thing as a new nurse not to cut corners or pickup someone elses bd habits . It's too bad that a new nurse isnt supported more in the field especially when they are doing the right thing. All of us..start out as new at some time or another...whether as support staff, cna or whatever. I applaud you for standing by what you believe in...You will find that in time others will see that you are very good nurse. You will be fine....youll see and even better than that.

Specializes in LTC, Med/Surg, Peds, ICU, Tele. Has 15 years experience.

I agree with commuter, 23 pts in LTC is a light load. When I worked LTC I had 30 pts.


181 Posts

Please don't give up. Going to night shift might be an option for you. There are a lot less meds given at night, although you will still be busy. Time management is the key to your success, and having someone else you can go to if you have any questions.

HM2VikingRN, RN

4,700 Posts

I followed an LPN who worked for a County Public Health agency to provide home health care...


931 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, Med-Surg..

I agree with the others, LTC can be a tough place to start your career. In Canada, we have to do 3 months of precepted pregrad time taking on a full load of patients which is 30 at best and 40+ at worst. During this time, it really helped to at least start to get an idea of how to manage your time and this is challenging at the best of times. I think when you find a more supportive employer, you will learn your own time saving little tricks that are safe but help you out. It is also easier once you know your residents but that takes time esp. now that LTC homes seem to like to float nurses all over and nobody likes that. Good luck and please don't give up.

LPN4hire, LPN

13 Posts

Specializes in LTC, Alzheimer's, Home Care, Pediatrics.

I hear that 23 patients are a light load. But what kind of patients make for a light load?

out of the 23 patients only 5 took meds by mouth and were cooperative. The rest were on thickened liquids, the meds had to be crushed, and given by spoon, everynight at least 2 patients spat out the meds or refused altogether. I had at times 5 patients with g-tubes, 6 patients with insulin injections, Others were trying to escape and setting off the alarm. 7 needed wound treatments, 5 had to have their vitals monitored. plus I had to drop everything to take phone orders, doctor orders, incident reports, setting up lab, x-rays, consults. I did my best with time management and multi-tasking but everyday there were so many interuptions I could not keep up.

Now Im unemployed, I checked with all agencies and they just say they want a years experience. assisted living facilities also want a years experience. monster and careerbuilder got no responses I feel so down don't know who to talk to.

Specializes in LTC, Med/Surg, Peds, ICU, Tele. Has 15 years experience.

I don't think you should have started on days. I used to work evening shift in LTC, that was right after I graduated. The med pass is less intense and it's much less busy.

In LTC you really need time to sort out who is who and get to know the residents. The things you describe sound like normal situations.

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